Trail of the year
Nominated by Jamie Darlow
Making Doethie Valley our trail of the year was a tough call. It’s a mission to get to, two-thirds of the loop is on double-track and it seems to be suffering under the volume of traffic and notorious Cambrian weather. Even the singletrack alongside the Afon Doethie – the reason people come here in the first place – isn’t above criticism, thanks to several sections of marshy bog and a few areas of erosion in desperate need of repair. So why should it deserve such plaudits? Well, on a sunny day, following a spell of dry weather, the quality of the singletrack and the tranquillity of this beautiful and intimate valley are unrivalled.
Jamie sums up the experience; “It’s a relentless climb up to the top of the Doethie Valley, round the side of the Llyn Brianne Reservoir and up the byway at Soar y Mynydd, but it gets the climbing done with some epic views for visual relief. The descent’s just as relentless too — a full-on phantasmagoria of singletrack that hugs the side of the valley, delivering roots, rocks and off-camber fun. The highlight: an amazing section of rocky slabs to roll and jump as you please.”